- WHO Chief called to prepare for possibility of vaccines evading variants
- Public health capacities must be strengthened for future emergencies: WHO
- WHO also classified B.1.617 variant of coronavirus of global concern
Geneva: Highlighting the inequality in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu on Monday (May 10) informed that High and upper-middle countries represent 53 per cent of the world’s population but have received 83 per cent of the world’s vaccine. “High and upper-middle countries represent 53 per cent of the world’s population but have received 83 per cent of the world’s vaccine. By contrast, low and lower-middle income countries account for 47 per cent but have received just 17 per cent of the world’s vaccine,” said WHO chief during a press briefing.
Public health capacities must be strengthened to prepare for the possibility of vaccine evading variants and for future emergencies, he added.
This comes as the WHO on Monday said that the coronavirus variant first identified in India last year was being classified as a variant of global concern, with some preliminary studies showing that it spreads more easily.
We are classifying this as a variant of concern at a global level, Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO technical lead on COVID-19, told a briefing.
The B.1.617 variant is the fourth variant to be designated as being of “global concern”. Meanwhile, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Executive Chairperson of Biocon Limited, Asia’s leading Biopharmaceuticals enterprise expressed concern over the “short supply” of vaccines in India.
“Very concerned about why vaccines are in such short supply. Can we please know where the 70 million doses are being deployed every month? @MoHFW_INDIA. We need better transparency to avoid suspense. If a timetable of supplies is made public people can patiently wait their turn,” Ms Mazumdar tweeted.
India reported 3,29,942 new COVID-19 cases, and 3,876 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Health Ministry.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.